Un-bee-lievable: 2018 Shed of the Year winner crowned

Following the unveiling of the 2018 shortlist last month, an overall winner of the 11th annual Cuprinol Shed of the Year has now been declared. Sheffield sheddie George Smallwood got the nod for his Bee Eco Shed, a haven for honeybees and other insects.

The Bee Eco Shed is envisioned as a celebration of nature and came about when Smallwood began building a base for a standard ready-made shed. During the process he got inspired, and the project eventually grew into a custom shed built from scratch.

The shed includes an interior space and shelving to store tools and the like. Additionally, a spiral staircase provides access to the rooftop terrace, which includes two beehives that have already produced around 14 liters (3.7 US gallons) of honey in the past 12 months or so. Other notable features include a large “bug house,” and a simple water harvesting system that consists of guttering used to irrigate a herb garden.

The Bee Eco Shed beat an impressive 2,971 entries this year. Over 16,000 public votes were cast and the result was decided by a judging panel that included 2017 Shed of the Year winner Ben Swanborough.

Smallwood has been awarded £1,000 (roughly US$1,300) for his efforts, as well as some products from competition sponsor Cuprinol, a winner’s plaque, and that all-important giant crown for his shed.

“Coming in at the top spot was such a welcome surprise,” says Smallwood. “When we started the project we never could have dreamed we’d be here now. We hope our shed will inspire others around the UK to create spaces for wildlife in their gardens. There were so many innovative and creative sheds this year, so we’re absolutely thrilled to have been crowned the winner of Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2018!”

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